ATLANTA — A 3-year-old girl died of starvation, and Channel 2's Wendy Halloran went through years of documents pointing to signs of neglect. Halloran is investigating why the mother still had custody of her daughter before she died.
On Oct. 8, the child, identified as Reygan Moon, was hospitalized for malnourishment. She only weighted 14 pounds and officials believe she was forced to live in a closet soiled with feces and urine.
Halloran asked a top leader at the Division of Family and Children Services about changes to protect other children.
“Did we go far enough? Maybe not. Could we do better? Yes, we can,” Keith Bostick, deputy division chief at Georgia’s DFCS, said.
Hundreds of pages of documents in the case reveal DFCS had a case against Reygan's mother, Devin Moon, as early as 2016 when she was just a year old.
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In another case in 2017, caseworkers' notes clearly show Devin Moon had a history of telling her family she did not want Reygan.
Each time, the accusations did not cross the safety threshold and the case was closed.
"It's been hard, hard for us as a family because we tried to get some help," Reygan's grandmother, Deborah Walton-Moon, said.
Walton-Moon and Reygan's aunt took care of the child before she was taken away by Moon.
In early October, Walton-Moon said she called the new caseworker four times to warn him.
"He did not return any phone calls at all," Walton-Moon said.
The child was hospitalized in October. The caseworker wrote the 3-year-old's "belly is very small and looks like a child on Feed the Children."
"I'm continuing to take a look at their work history and their experiences," Bostick said after Halloran asked if the caseworkers involved lacked the ability to detect when a child is being starved to death.
The family said DFCS failed them.
"We went to them for help, and they didn't help us," Walton-Moon said.
"We did not do enough in our efforts of working with both parties, the birth mother, the aunt and the grandmother," Bostick said.
All the caseworkers involved in the case left the agency on their own volition before Reygan died. Bostick said the department is trying to find them to interview.
Cox Media Group